Friday Happenings: What Did You Release?
This week, we welcomed spring. If you live in New England like we do, it didn't feel so much like spring as we experienced some cold, cold temperatures (a little frustrating after a few weeks ago experiencing summer temps, then a blizzard and cold temps...I digress.) In order for spring to arrive, we have to let go of winter. Although some of us already have, Mother Nature apparently has not quite yet.
However, we can see that release (or non-release) to look at what we have been holding on to and perhaps take the hint or the nudge to take a step by releasing whatever "it" is.
So, what have we noticed releasing?
Elizabeth: It's amazing the pictures and thoughts we hold on to without even realizing it. Ever been there? You get to a point and the picture you have of that point doesn't match your experience in "real" time. You may not even have realized you had a picture of what is was "supposed" to be like until you get to the point. Then you get there and it is either better or worse than what you pictured.
I got to go to the doctor this week for my annual physical. I had an "aha" moment during the physical: I was holding on to a few pictures about my physical body. That doesn't sound too "aha," you might say. And yet, if you don't know something and you suddenly realize it, no matter how big or small the realization, it sparks something, usually growth.
Again, as luck would have it this week's topic of release was timed exactly perfectly to release the pictures - the old information that wasn't serving me anymore. Might you be working with similar outdated pictures?
Barbara: I'm taking a macro view of this, because I think there's been some major releasing going on in our country for the last several years, and it's stirring up some major resistance. Perhaps you've noticed?
The arc of progress can often feel like two steps forward, one step back. In releasing old pictures of gender, for example, we've been moving forward into a space of greater acceptance, equality, and love for one another on a very fundamental level. At the same time, though, that release has triggered resistance in many people - they simply aren't there, they aren't ready to release those pictures for whatever reason (programming takes many forms, and that's a whole 'nother story).
Whether it's the long path toward full equality for women or the more recent focus on the ways our systems demean LGBTQ people, there's a dance of release and resistance that unfolds as we grow. You can see it in every issue on our political table right now, and you may feel frustrated at either the fast pace of release or the enormity of the resistance.
It's easy to get caught up in your own pictures - whether you're currently releasing or resisting - and lose sight of the other pictures out there. There's tremendous value in stepping back for a moment and looking at those other pictures. I'm not saying that you need to abandon your deep abiding principles, nor am I justifying horrific behavior - some things are flat-out inhumane and must be resisted. I'm suggesting that most things we're facing as a nation right now are not black-and-white. There's a lot of nuance to political issues in a nation as diverse as ours, and there's tremendous value in attempting to see ever bigger pictures.
If you're releasing: I challenge you to see what's stirring the resistance in others. If you're resisting: I challenge you to see what others are releasing. Find your neutrality for a moment and see the energy of it all.
Put ego aside, and look for the love and fear elements on each side.
That's one way of releasing the need to be right in favor of seeking to understand. Release. In the privacy of your own meditations (Facebook activism and sign-carrying can come later), look at where you're releasing and where you're resisting. Then, ask to see the other side of those coins. I am quite certain that you'll gain something from it.